Journal article Open Access

An acoustic study of Georgian stop consonants

Vicenik, Chad

This study investigates the acoustic properties of ejective, voiced and voiceless aspirated stops in Georgian, a Caucasian language, and seeks to answer two questions: (i) Which acoustic features discriminate the three stop types? and (ii) Do Georgian stops undergo initial strengthening, and if so, is it syntagmatic or paradigmatic strengthening? Five female speakers were recorded reading words embedded in carrier phrases and stories. Acoustic measures include closure duration, voicing during the closure, voicing lag, relative burst intensity, spectral moment of bursts, phonation (H1-H2) and F0. Of these, voicing lag, voicing during the closure, mean burst frequency, H1-H2 and F0 could all be used to discriminate stop type, but stop types did not differ in closure duration or relative burst intensity. Georgian stops did show initial strengthening and showed only syntagmatic enhancement, not paradigmatic enhancement. Stops showed longer closure durations, longer voicing lags, and higher H1-H2 values in higher prosodic positions.

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